Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Rowhani: EU must play straight with Iran

Description of Selected News: "EU must play straight with Iran

By Hassan Hanizadeh
Hassan Rowhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, held discussions on Monday with Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot and other officials of the Netherlands, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

These discussions are being held on the threshold of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting, which begins on September 13.

Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced its position on the use of nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes, unfortunately, EU foreign ministers expressed concern about Iran’s nuclear activities at their recent meeting in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

The EU foreign ministers aired their negative views on the subject shortly after IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei issued a favorable report on Iran’s nuclear program which indicated that Iran had fulfilled its nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) commitments.

The IAEA director general’s report should allay the international community’s concerns since it proves that Iran’s nuclear activities have been above board.

At this point in time, the IAEA Board should make every effort to maintain its independence, despite the pressure of the United States and the Zionist lobby, and should permanently close Iran’s nuclear dossier, in line with the findings of ElBaradei’s report.

The EU should also try to avoid being influenced by U.S. policy and should fulfill the commitments it made to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Tehran Declaration of October 2003.

Diplomatic relations between the EU and Iran should be based on mutual trust and prove that European countries’ are independent and are able to make decisions without fear of the U.S. sword of Damocles.

Relations between the European Union and the Islamic world have cooled dramatically due to the EU’s unwise decision in recent years to follow the provocative policies of the United States, which are not in the best interests of Western countries, especially in the Middle East.

With the IAEA Board of Governors session approaching and the ambiguities about Iran’s nuclear dossier resolved according to ElBaradei’s report, both the IAEA Board and the EU should recognize Iran’s right to gain access to nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes.

The EU, an independent bloc that formerly had warm relations with the Islamic world, should help Iran at the IAEA Board meeting and neutralize the U.S. pressure, which is being used to jumpstart U.S. President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign."

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